Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Who's the Best... 200th Issue?








32 comments:

J.A. Morris said...

I'm going with FF #200 here. I just reviewed the hardcover that reprints it and it's a great culmination of a multi-part arc. And it features Doom at his most maniacal.
Amazing Spider-Man# 200 was also pretty good.

It would be easier for me to pick a Worst 200th issue of all time. That would be The Avengers Ms. Marve./Marcus/Immortus disaster.

J.A. Morris said...

Whoops, meant to type "Ms. Marvel" not "Ms. Marve" but you probably figured that out already.

Redartz said...

Justice league of America #200 had many elements of a great anniversary issue: appearances by members new and old , an entertaining extra- length story (donei in one, no less!) and a fine array of creative talent. I particularly enjoy Brian Bolland's pages, and Gil Lane's as well. Then you have framing art by George Perez- always a visual treat. Finally, the book sports a striking Perez wrap-around cover. Surely this is a 200th issue intended to keep the reader coming back for another 200...

Edo Bosnar said...

Redartz beat me to it, but yes, JLA #200 is my absolute favorite 200th issue: it's a showcase of fantastic art with an engaging multi-part story that works for regular readers of the series, lapsed but curious fans or even newcomers to the title.

My runner-up would be Spider-man #200; I know a lot of folks didn't like Wolfman's run on the title, but I thought it was pretty good, and this anniversary issue was really strong, I thought, despite the sort of somber story.
Honorable mention: Hulk #200, just because it was the first 200th issue I ever had. Story wasn't too bad, either: Hulk, wearing some kind of weird helmet that keeps Banner's mind in control, shrinks down into Glen Talbott's brain to save his life. And art by Sal Buscema and Joe Staton. What more can you ask for?

dbutler16 said...

FF #200 was very good, and Supberboy & the Legion #200 was also very good (largely due to the art) but I'm going with Justice League of America #200. George Perez art (including a great cover)
plus lots of great hero versus hero action, includinga large cast. What more could I want?

Anonymous said...

I remember being particularly excited by FF 200. As JA said, it had a good run up. I thought something momentous was going to happen, like Reed killing Doom (I mean really killing him).

Avengers 200, as well as being bloody awful, didn’t really have the same lead in.

I was also very excited by the lead up to Cap 200. I haven’t re-read it since, and it was part of that Kirby run which we’ve discussed as being bad, but I remember being really excited at the time, and I’d read Cap’s Bicentennial Battles also by Kirby and really liked it, so I was expecting something cool as the most iconic US hero hit 200 at the same time the US itself did.

I think my favourite would be Xmen. Now that we’re familiar with Magneto’s back story, it seemed like we always knew about the camps, etc, but for the first 20 years of X mythology we thought he was just a nutter in a tin hat. I remember being profoundly struck by the grown-up-ness of the story. It seemed ridiculous to me in the lead up to that story that Magneto just surrendered himself to be put on trial for crimes against humanity, but when he rolled up his sleeve and said ‘you want to talk to me about humanity?’ it was a real game changer for me. It’s a moment when comics really grew up, like the Spidey drugs story or the death of Gwen. It suddenly all got real.

Richard

Inkstained Wretch said...

I'll go with Justice League of America #200 too. That is how you do an anniversary issue right.

Honorable mentions: Daredevil #200, a no-holds-barred showdown between DD and the man who killed the love of his life, Bullseye; Iron Man #200 in which Tony Stark reclaims his identity as Iron Man and takes on the man who stole Stark International from him; and The Brave & the Bold #200, a team-up (sort of) between the Batmen of Earth-1 and Earth-2 as well as the final issue of that great series.

david_b said...

I'll go with FF#200 to be safe, but it somehow dn't seem as grand as it 'should have been'. Not sure if that's making sense, but either with the panel work or plotting, Reed's showdown with Doom just didn't seem as memorable as it should have been.

Iron Man 200 was a solid issue, pitting Tony against Obadiah Stane for control of Stark Industries, pretty much the framework for the first IM movie.

I wasn't a JLA fan by the time 200 came out, and somehow my interest in Kirby's CA was lost by it's bicentennial issue. Quite frankly, I had little interest in any comics by the time most of my favorites hit their 200th issue.

From reading reviews, I may have to grab ASM 200.. looks like a swell issue, Edo

I will throw a shout-out to Batman 200 (1968). Nice Scarecrow story, splendid Neal Adams cover.

Edo Bosnar said...

david_b, re: Spider-man #200. While I think it works as a stand-alone story, there was a bit of a lead-in, so it helps to have at least the 2-3 issues that preceded it.
As to JLA #200, I stand by my point that it works even for those who may have lost interest in the title long before that point. It's just a fun and beautifully drawn issue - as Inkstained said, it's how to do any anniversary issue right. And it's pretty easy to find cheap - I think I paid about $2 for my current copy.

david_b said...

Edo, total agreement on ASM.. I just read the samruby.com reviews for ish's 197-199 with Mysterio.

As for the other 200's I'm sure they're great, I just related as to why I didn't pick 'em up 'back in the day'.

Most other mags I liked back then either never made it to ish 200 or they would have been so dilluted from their original formula that I probably wouldn't have liked 'em anyways (could anyone imagine Howard the Duck #200...???).

Matt Celis said...

Flash #200 has a terrific coverthat makes you want to read the story inside, and is the debut of Irv Novick
as Flash artist. Can't really think of any other #200s I thought were very good. Have neve read Batman or Superman 200, so maybe they were special. JLA 200 I thought was a mixed bag, not a great story and too many art styles to be coherent. I also was not impressed by perez at that point in his career. he got much much better a few years later. Avengers 200 was so creepy it makes me cringe. its only good point is getting rid of ms. marvel.

William said...

I'll have to go with Amazing Spider-Man #200 "Return of the Burglar". I remember that book well, and to me it felt like a big event that actually had a real and lasting impact on Peter Parker and Spider-Man.

Bruce said...

Amazing Spider-Man #200 for me.

This was my Holy Grail of comics for eight years or so. ASM was my favorite comic, and I was so stoked to get this issue. But despite checking every spinner rack in town, I wasn't able to grab a copy - they all had sold out. I finally found a back issue at a comics shop when I was in high school.

Anyway, the story held up to my expectations. Bringing back the burglar who killed Uncle Ben is something you can only do once, but Wolfman played this card well. And Keith Pollard is an underrated Bronze Age artist - always liked his work on Spider-Man and the FF.

Chris said...

I know it's slightly out of the bronze-age (cover date May 1993), but (Peter Parker) The Spectacular Spider-man #200 was a great issue by J.M. DeMatteis and Sal Buscema.

It was the conclusion of quite a long storyline where Harry was the Goblin again.

ASM # 200 was solid and I too liked Uncanny X-Men #200

Mike said...

I want to second the shout out from david_b for Batman #200. I think this was the first time Neal Adams worked on the Batman title. Its also one of my favorite covers.

Second for me is ASM #200. I remember enjoying that issue back in the day. I don't have it anymore -- I traded away most of my ASM's many years ago. As a collector the trade was ok because I got some comics I really wanted at the time. But financially over 20 years later, it was a bad bad trade.

Matt Celis said...

Tell me about it! I had long runs of a lot of titles that sell for $$$$ nowadays...gave 'em all away to younger kids when i was in my late teens.

mr. oyola said...

The only #200 I can remember is X-men #200 - The Trial of Magneto.

Didn't start with Spider-Man or FF regularly until after 200, same with Avengers (though I remember my first issue being 197) and a lot of my other favorite series never made it that far!

dbutler16 said...

David_b, I agree with you that FF#200 wasn't as grand as it should have been. I liked it, but I thought I was the only one who didn't love it.

X-Men #200, since a couple of people have mentioned it, was also very good, but I wasn't too crazy about the art, plus this was some time after X-Men had jumped the shark, and so seems like an island of goodness in a sea of mediocrity, and thus doesn't get many nostalgia points.

Anonymous said...

This is a complete side bar, and probably a good topic for another thread ( hint, hint) but David’s comment that comics suffer from being ‘diluted from their original formula’ is, for the most part, exactly NOT what we feel, right? I mean, I get what you mean in context, so this is kind of a different point, but the reality is with all the really good comics that they improve rather than dilute as they move from the original formula.

If things stuck, undiluted to the original formula, we’d have no Miller DD, no T/A/P Xmen, no C&B Xmen, no Thomas/Buscema Avengers, no T/A/P Avengers, No Englehart /Buscema Avengers, no Steranko Cap or Fury, no M/JRJR/L Iron Man, etc.

Even where the original formula was great, some things got better yet (Gerber’s Defenders after Englehart’s Defenders after Thomas’s Defenders).

In fact, the only place where I can think of something quite consciously going BACK to the original formula with great results was Byrne’s FF.

Richard.

david_b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Celis said...

I think most titles woul be better served if comics got off the now-pointless monthly treadmill and just published when there was a story worh telling well, whether it's 20 pages or 200 pages.

You wouldn't have these uninspired stories jusy because there's a magazine to be filled. Or
stories stretched out to 6 issues whether it needs it or not.

david_b said...

Richard, thanks for the dialog. It wasn't any stretch of intention to 'over-generalize' regarding later tenures, wasn't the point in my dialog.

The only ideas in my java-infused thoughts was recalling a few folks here making the same lament, such as Doug mentioning (Sept 2009) his disinterest in the Defenders after his non-collecting period, and even Gerber's distaste of his Howard title after he was told to move on.

Clearly WAY too many previous supporting comments to search for and list.

I'd argue to say that while most short-term titles were sadly missed, some of them are more highly regarded BECAUSE they were short-lived. Some titles improve under different hands which allows you to enjoy later teams (or be a Lee/Kirby purist if you so choose..); others just kept going on and on decade after decade (later-day Bronze Flash, etc..).

Incidentally, you forgot Kirby returning to Cap. Original Formula..? Indeed. :)

Anonymous said...

Not much to say here...I think everyone covered my picks pretty well: X-Men, JLA, Brave and Bold, Amazing Spider-Man. I agree with Chris on Spectacular Spidey #200...great story about the redemption of Harry Osborn.

Mike W.

Doug said...

I've not read the DC suggestions above, but FF, ASM, and especially the inclusion of Spectacular Spider-Man are all worthy 200th issues. I think Avengers #200 would go on most folks' list of "most maligned comics - any number"!

Doug

Chasing Amazing said...

Since I'm going to repeat what others have said about Spectacular Spider-Man #200, let me try and generate some new conversation by talking about some of the issues I've long held with Amazing Spider-Man #200. While my site's tag is to collect every issue of ASM, it doesn't mean I have to like it!!!

While I appreciated revisiting the Burglar for a special centennial issue, Marv Wolfman's dialogue is just dreadful throughout and Bronze Age ASM remains one of my least favorite periods (sorry BAB faithful!). Way too many "punks" and other colloquialisms for my tastes. I don't expect Spidey to read like Shakespeare but the writing really didn't pick up again until Roger Stern took over in the early/mid 80s.

Rip Jagger said...

A two hundredth issue I've always rather liked was Thor's. Admittedly he got two hundred by beginning in Journey into Mystery, but the story is pretty dang sweet and offers up some of John Buscema's best superhero work. Featuring Ragnarok, something they'd hinted at for years seemed a big deal at the time.

I've got to give my nod though to Captain America (formerly Tales of Suspense of course) not so much because of the story which was okay, but the fact that Cap's co-creator Jack Kirby was large and in charge at the time and the two hundredth issue fell during the Bicentennial year, so totally appropriate they did a special tabloid featuring Cap. That's the kind of kismet that cannot be duplicated.

Rip Off

Matt Celis said...

I'm with you on this assessment. I also cringe at his overuse of "Lord" by every character.

Garett said...

They really pulled out all the stops with Archie #200-- Mr. Lodge gets mad at Archie!

Logan said...

Okay, time to take a stand. I liked Avengers 200 and I'm not ashamed to admit it. It had pretty pictures. Now before I incur the inevitable ridicule, in my defense it's more nostalgic than quality-driven. I was like 12 and I missed it at the newsstand and had to beg my best friend to sell it to me. I was a huge Avengers fan.

However, it was nowhere near the best 200th. That would have to be the already mentioned Spidey 200. Hands down.

William Preston said...

I want to concur on the lameness of Spiderman #200: Wolfman's runs on that and FF were dreadful. It was like watching sock puppets act out the stories. His Dracula work was awesome, but everything else he touched died on the page.

Edo Bosnar said...

Logan, the first time I read Avengers #200 I didn't hate it as much as I did upon later readings - didn't really like it either, because although the whole rape angle of that story initially flew over my head as 12 year-old boy, I was still creeped out by that whole "Ms. Marvel gives birth to her lover" aspect. But I agree that the art was quite nice.

William P., wow, strong words. While I understand the criticism of Wolfman's Spidey run (even I don't concur), I thought his FF run was actually pretty good (even have the In Search of Galactus HC). And I hardly think New Teen Titans died on the page...
Dreadful is how I would describe the Moench run on FF that followed Wolfman's. That was just a parade of WTF moments, and not in a good way.

William Preston said...

Edo, I have little recollection of Moench's run. I do, however, distinctly remember getting the impression, as a high school kid, that Wolfman was straining to pull off effective stories; you could feel the almost-ness to them. It was kind of like Mantlo's Howard the Duck magazine work.

Daredevil #200 did have a tremendous cover.

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